There Apostle Paul had a vision that night. He saw a Macedonian standing in front of him who asked him: Come over to Macedonia and help us!
This is a passage in the Bible from Luke’s Acts of the Apostles. These words from the Apostle Paul should be read when opening passage 16:9 in Acts. Yes it should! Because even the Bible is not immune to forgeries, “translation errors” or reinterpretations!
And we find such falsifications exactly in this passage mentioned. Often enough, instead of the actual correct phrase, He saw a Macedonian, there is a falsified one: He saw a man from Macedonia.
For many, the Bible is the most fascinating book ever translated into 2,000 languages and dialects. But miraculously, there is no such thing as a “single Bible,” but there are hundreds and hundreds of them that differ, if nothing else, at least in nuances. But these nuances can have a huge impact on interpretations, as in our case, which we are devoting ourselves to here. From a Macedonian to a simple man from Macedonia.
For centuries the Vatican has stuck to the first Latin translation, the Vulgate, which, with some additions and changes, is still “under the Pope’s pillow”. Now let’s take the statements of various popes to heart: always open the Bible to consult it.
Apostle Paul wrote about “Macedonia, Macedonians, Macedonian”
The Bible is a confirmation of the importance of Macedonia, but also of the existence of the Macedonians as a people, and this is crucial when it comes to monotheism and early Christianity. This is the opinion of the original author of the article (Religija.mk) which we are translating here.
However, Macedonia did not disappear in hundreds of Bible translations, but was graced and the Macedonians were erased as far as possible.
The most visible example is the mission of Paul, who in his 14 letters spoke precisely and very precisely not only about Macedonia but also about the Macedonians. But in translations of the Bible, like the King James Bible, the Macedonian became “someone from Macedonia”. It doesn’t have the same meaningfulness, we’ll agree on that.
In the New Testament of the King James Bible, Macedonia is mentioned 26 times. Professor Ratomir Grozdanoski, on the other hand, says that Macedonia is mentioned 30 times in the Bible.
In the Holy Scriptures of the New Testament, Macedonia and the Macedonians are mentioned 27 times in 24 verses. Macedonia 21 times, Macedonians 5 times, Macedonian once. Through 7 books in the Bible – in the New Testament, out of a total of 27 books, the apostle Paul mentions Macedonia (or Macedonian, Macedonian) 16 times in 6 books and the apostle Luke 11 times in one book.
After Israel and the Jews, Macedonia and the Macedonians are mentioned most often in the Bible, claims Grozdanoski.
In order to understand from which side the anti-Macedonian winds blew into the Bible, i.e. so that one dares to change the scriptures, we need to point out a very important moment in history that will shed light on the mission of the Apostle Paul.
It’s not a legend, but a historical fact
Alexander III of Macedon, better known as Alexander the Great and son of Philip II, was like every other Macedonian at that time in the 4th century BC a pagan and could not have had any direct connection with the apostle Paul. Paul lived and fulfilled his mission in the 1st century AD.
After the conquest of Persia, Alexander issued his edict in 331 BC (this date or year is considered to be the most accurate according to the latest findings), which enabled the Jews to freely spread their monotheistic religion wherever they lived in the huge Macedonian Empire Alexander established.
This is exactly what Alexander initiated or made possible the spread of monotheism in non-Jewish cultures. Precisely because of the freedom he gave them, the Jews have written in today’s books: “If we can talk about saints at all, then Alexander the Great is for us Jews the saint above the saints.”
And another important historical point, which will later also be the subject of misinterpretation, not to mention gross falsifications: after the conquest of the city of Tyre, the Macedonian army had to cross Israel. Before Alexander and his army reached Judea and Jerusalem, they were greeted in Megiddo Field by a procession of high-ranking Jewish priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant with them.
The Jews only took the Ark out of the shrine in the most exceptional cases, when it came to survival, but this time it was for the highest honor for the Macedonian king. But before they had time to pay homage to the king, Alexander the Great dismounted from his horse, knelt and bowed to the priests and the Ark of the Covenant.
His four high-ranking Macedonian companions and generals reacted to this sight with scorn, as old traditions would have us believe: “The king who conquered and destroyed the great Persian army and conquered Tyre and thus made himself a god is bowing before these worthless priests?”
Alexander replied: “I do not bow to these ‘worthless priests”, but to their only God!”
If so, it will be much easier for us to follow the apostle Paul’s mission.
The Acts of the Apostles of the Apostle Luke at 16: 9 says:
He saw a Macedonian standing in front of him who asked him: Come over to Macedonia and help us!
The King James Bible or the New American Bible, on the other hand, states:
Paul had a vision at night; A man from Macedonia stood before him, who asked him. Come over and help us!
The difference is not naive at all. In the first case, it is a man who was defined by Paul as a Macedonian – and not as a Jew, Greek, Roman or anything else.
The second case is a “man from Macedonia” who could be a Roman or even a Greek or of any other origin.
Interestingly, the word Macedonian appears in all the Bibles of the Eastern peoples, especially the Orthodox, but this word, this translation, is also found in a Croatian translation.
According to these examples we see that Paul was called by a Macedonian at night. And in stark contradiction, in the Bibles of the Western world, especially in the English, the Macedonian becomes a “man from Macedonia”.
Only in the Acts of the Apostles by the Evangelist Luke (27:2) is the Macedonian a Macedonian in both the Eastern and Western Bibles:
Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Saloniki, was with us.
In his article “The Bible Witness for Macedonia and the Macedonians” in the book “Name and Light of the Macedonian Manifesto” Grozdanoski raises a crucial question: Did the apostle Paul had a vision or a dream in which the Macedonian asked him to come to Macedonia ?
First, when they changed the text of the Bible and accidentally add something that the apostle Paul had a vision in a dream, many are wrong, willingly or unwillingly, knowingly or unknowingly. Not a single Bible text, from oldest to newest, literally contains the word “dream” in this passage. “I don’t know where that comes from!” writes Grozdanoski.
Jovan Manev, who has studied the Bible for more than 40 years and is the author of three books in the field, also believes that the word “vision” is inserted to hide “the trace” of the truth, so to speak.
According to Manev, Paul knew exactly where he wanted to go because, as a Jew, he was familiar with Alexander’s edict and the connections between Jews and Macedonians.
The proof of this is that Macedonians were with him all along, guarding him. That is why Paul chose Macedonia as the key to his mission; he was free, respected, had no problems. Otherwise you can all ask yourself : “why didn’t Paul went to Athens first!?”, explains and questions Manev.
In his letters Paul makes it very clear that the Macedonians were a role model for all early church communities, which from then on slowly began to develop. And it is precisely the claims made by the Apostle Paul, Manev argues, that one of the reasons Emperor Constantine determined which records would go into the New Testament.
“Yavan becomes Greece”
The subject of forgeries in the Bible relating to Macedonia is not a new subject. The Macedonian historian Aleksandar Donski has been researching such forgeries for several years. Such, in his opinion, the most obvious forgery is the new interpretation of the term Yavan. As a result, instead of Yavan, we read “Greece” everywhere.
As he explains, it is generally accepted that part of the content of the Old Testament book of the prophet Daniel relates to the conquest of Asia by Alexander the Great. Here Donski points to a large, proverbial forgery of the Bible, which unfortunately affects many Bible translators, including some Macedonian editions, as he says.
As Donski explains, in verse 8.21 of the Book of Daniel a king is mentioned, whom Bible scholars consider to be Alexander the Great of Macedon. In the Macedonian translation of the Bible (available online) this king is even referred to as “the King of Greece”.
Donski has also researched other translations of the Bible and most of them have this version written down (probably domino effect, a translation was made on the basis of a previously mistaken/falsified translation).
In fact, in the old text it does not say “King of Greece” at all, says Donski, but (in Hebrew) “King of Yavan”. So who took the liberty of falsifying the name Yavan and replacing it with “Greece”? Asks Donski and adds: The letters were written during a time when such a state (Greece) did not exist!
Yavan is not a geographical name (for example an earlier name for Greece or something similar), but a personal name! In particular, it is the name of a son of Japhet who was a son of Noah. So Yavan was the grandson of Noah’s son. This is stated in the Book of Genesis (chapter 10).
The table of nations created by St. Hippolytus (first half of the 3rd century) states that Yavan (through his son Kittim) is the ancestor of the Macedonians!
That Yavan was the ancestor of the Macedonians (and not of the Greeks or Greece) is also stated in the large twelve-volume Jewish encyclopedia (published between 1901 and 1906), in which Yavan is clearly equated with Macedonia, explains Professor Donski. Read more about this topic in our article: Pro-Greek forgery in most common translations of the Bible.